The Masala Trail Janpath is a premium vegetarian restaurant in a premium location. It is wrong to assume that chicken is the national bird of Delhi and butter chicken is the state dish. There is a sizeable number of vegetarian food lover. This is evident from the rush we see at the restaurants which are part of sweet shops sprinkled all over Delhi. The Masala Trial has food and fun written all over it.
Location of The Masala Trail Janpath
It is not easy to miss this place. It occupies a corner location. Right next to the the huge parking space. It is part of the huge commerical building on Janpath road. It is simply known as Janpath. You might not find this place simply knowing the address. But the nearest landmark is Saravana Bhavan which is right next door.
Concept of The Masala Trail
Cuisine from all part of India. There is more focus on street food. That way the menu is way too much than what you can see at other restaurants. It is quite a challenge to bring in street food to a restaurant. Here there is an entire range of street food. There are goodies from Banglore, Chennai, Kolkata, Gujarat, Bombay and so on. That gives you a full 21 pages of only food menu. The menu is confusing at first, but soon you will get used to the layout. Some items on the menu are quick bites types and others are full meal. Then there are breakfast options too. The thali ich is available only for lunch. This is one place where you can go overboard with choices and do a little experiments. Food is good.
Seating is a mix of sofa and table. Average group of three to four is easily accommodated. But large groups might have to wait during rush hours. CP and Janpath has their own definition of rush hours. Lunch and dinner on all days is practically rush hours. Office goers in the day time and families in the evening time. Week ends there is surely going to be waiting time. Waiting can be as long as half an hour, but that will be rare cases.
A bit more about the pricing
I shall pick up a few menu items for the pricing part. A glass of Kesaria lassi is Rs 179. Jaipuri Pyaj ki Kachori is Rs 125 for two pieces. Street style chowmein is Rs 175. And finally the thali is Rs 255. Intriguing pricing, I must say. This restaurant is a prime commercial locality. With sky high rentals and tough competition around, this place has got the right pricing. Be it street food or a full meal. You will go back with a full tummy and smile on your face. Once order is placed, food does not take too long to arrive. Even for specific street food items, the service is fast. This is another good part of the restaurant. Fast service means tables are cleared faster and lesser waiting time. This is in sharp contrast to their neighbour where the waiting is primarily due to slow service.
About the service
Service consists of cooks in the kitchen, waiters serving and an army of black suits managing them all. These suit clad people look very important and they reminded us of similar scenes at Imly, Rajouri Garden. Suit clad people milling around looking busy, but actually doing pretty little. We reached there and saw around 15 people waiting outside. After entering the name in the waiting register we walked down to the car parking and by the time we came back, the entire crowd had vanished. After reconfirming the waiting number with the person in suit standing outside with a walkie talkie, we were happy that our turn to enter will come soon. As time dragged on, when we re checked with the suit guy, we realized that he had missed out our entry.
A few more suited guys inside who were moving inside. One of them was selectively picking up tables to ask for feedback about food. Now it gives a very poor impression if you are asking one table for feedback and missing the one next to it.
To sum it up
As a concept and food served, The Masala Trail Janpath is wonderful. That it is pure vegetarian restaurant is the added bonus. And not to forget the interiors are nicely done up keeping the food theme in mind. Plus there is a counter of Keventers shake right within the restaurant. With all these positives, the minor creases with service can be easily ignored.